History of Gay and Lesbian Life in Milwaukee, Wisconsin - Businesses - Bars and Clubs

Boom /
Club Boom
Location: 625 S. 2nd Street



Male/ female
Bar/ social



The first gay bar in this location was In Between. After In Between closed, the lease was taken over by a new owner (a gay couple), and in 2002 they opened Club Boom, which soon became known simply as Boom.

In summer 2003 a back patio was opened, complete with a fish tank stocked with large fish, and often used for cook-outs in the summer.

In July 2004, the size of the bar was doubled by expanding into the building immediately north, dubbed The "Room". The Room was in sharp contract to the original space; the original Boom space has darker lighting with a traditional massive dark wood bar and walls, and a dance area toward the back. In contrast, going between Boom and Room is like going from one completely different business to another: Room has bright neon and halogen lighting, with a stainless steel and glass bar and lots of video screens, with games and pool tables toward the back. The two bars are connected both at the front with a closing glass door, and via doors to a shared patio in the back, allowing one to make a continous "circuit" between the two spaces.

With the opening of The Room, that bar became the place to be for people's early cocktails on Friday and especially Saturday nights, prior to migrating to the La Cage for dancing (the migration typically happening around 11:30-midnight). (Prior to this, Fluid had been the early-cocktail abr for the pre-La Cage crowd, and prior to that, the Triangle had held that position.)

Beginning in 2004, the bar also began to hold numerous parties, often with porn star strippers/ dancers, or sponsored by national businesses such as Instinct magazine, Gay.com, etc.

The Boom/ Room bars began to decline in popularity starting around 2010, as gay bars in general began to be less popular. (With society's acceptance of gays/ the LGBT community, more and more patrons were comfortable gathering in "straight" bars, and "gay only" bars began losing their appeal to many of the younger men.) The owner began looking for a buyer, but ended up closing the bars late in 2014.

The Boom and Room bars
The Boom
The Room

Article in Outbound Magazine
(Vol. 1 no. 2- Feb. 2002)

Advertisement, new Room, July 2004

Ad in Quest Magazine
(Vol. 13 no. 10- July 2006)

Credits: contents, design and arrangement by Don Schwamb.
Last updated: November-2015